It seemed easy -- Tim Costa had a luxury car he didn't use or need, and Dave Taylor had a buyer for the car.
But more than a year later Costa has no car and no money, and Taylor is facing criminal charges for basically stealing the car from Costa.
Taylor, the owner of Bernardo Motors on State Street, has said it's all a misunderstanding and stems from an employee of his embezzling his business. But Costa says that Taylor jerked him around for months, not telling him the truth as to what was going on with the car, a 2005 BMW that sold for almost $40,000.
"I originally bought this car in 2010 from Dave," Costa said. "A year later in 2011 he asked me if i was interested in selling it -- he could get top dollar since my mileage was very low.
"Since i was working seven days a week i thought, sure, for $39,000 current book value i would sell the car," he said. "It was just sitting in the garage and i had no time to drive it."
Taylor said he would sell the car and charge him $500 to do it, Costa said, so on April 15, 2011 he left the car with Taylor. It didn't take long to sell, he said -- on May 8, 2011, he got word the car was sold.
"[Taylor] called me and said he sold the BMW and was waiting for the bank check," Costa said. A week or so later he called to inquire about the sale and Taylor's bookkeeper told him that Taylor was in Las Vegas but the deal should be "all set," Costa said.
But by early June the loan on his BMW had still not been paid off, Costa said, and Taylor told him that the bank had backed out of financing the buyer and he needed time to find another bank.
"This excuse was told to me for months and I trusted him since i bought the car from him, thinking, well maybe its true," Costa said. "Today's loans are tough to get during trying times."
Repeatedly Taylor told him that he found someone to buy the car, Costa said, but until the financing was in place, he had to keep paying the loan.
"So i paid the loan every month until January of 2012," Costa said. But in mid-December, he decided to take the car back since it has been months with no progress on the sale, he said.
"i decide enough is enough, and i begin the process of organizing paperwork and car insurance, thinking i was just going to go pick up my BMW," he said. "I'm not waitng anymore and thought who is going to buy this car in december anyway -- I want my car back."
Taylor told him that the car was in storage to preserve its mint condition, Costa said, but days later he stopped at Mauro Motors where the car was serviced and discovered that his car was in someone else's possession.
"I found out that on Aug. 10, 2011, a new person was driving my car and had it serviced for oil at 26,943 miles. i said that's impossible, i never sold my car," Costa said. "Who and why is someone driving my car and having it serviced with the extended warranty? So i leave Mauro Motors and went down to confront Dave and collect my car."
Costa said he confronted Taylor, asking who the alleged new owner was and why was he driving his car.
"I asked him, how did you register my car without a title? This is fraud and you will go to jail for this," Costa said.
Taylor admitted to him that he sold the car to another man, Costa said. "I said I'm not paying the bank anymore so you better pay this car off next week," he said, but Taylor told him he needed more time and would have it paid off by the end of January 2012.
"It went on and on and with more lies," Costa said. "Finally i felt like this is a waste of time and i wanted to know what really happened here so i went to the police on May 4, 2012 to file a complaint."
Taylor said he would have the car paid off by the next week, Costa said, but three weeks passed with still more than $12,000 owed on the car and no profit forwarded to Costa.
Taylor was arrested last week on charges of first degree larceny, first degree forgery and misapplication of property.
that the reason for the problem stem from an employee who embezzeled money from the business, leaving him unable to make good on Costa's deal.
"I have been stressed for over a year because of Dave's actions," Costa said. "He needs to be punished and people need to know what Bernardo Motors and Dave Taylor are really about."